One of Ireland's biggest employers, German electronic component manufacturers Kostal, is to temporarily close its Cork and Limerick plants which employ more than 1,000 staff because of the Covid-19 crisis.
Kostal, which operates major plants in Mallow in Co Cork and Abbeyfeale in Co Limerick, is close the two facilities until April 27, when the situation will be reviewed.
It is hoped that, if market conditions permit, both plants will resume operations. The final shift at the plants were due to conclude at 8am today.
It is understood the decision followed the widespread shutdown of major car production plants in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain because of the Covid-19 crisis.
Kostal is a leading producer of electronic and mechanical components for the automotive sector.
The firm is one of the largest employers in Munster - and the dominant employer in both Mallow, where it employs 345 people, and in Abbeyfeale, where it employs 693.
A company spokesperson was unavailable for comment on the matter.
However, a source indicated it was "a very challenging time" for the firm, its employees and their families.
The plant shutdowns are directly linked to the Covid-19 crisis and the fall-out for the car industry. The company source said both the firm and its employees were "severely impacted because of this [virus] event".
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